South Texas Politics - Former Bee County GOP Chair Robert Bridge Talks With CD 34 Candidate Adela Garza

During my trip through South Texas this month to talk about the changing political scene, a couple of issues rose to the top. The first being energy. Energy is HUGE in this region of Texas. The entire economic engine has been completely restarted as a result of the success of the Eagle Ford Shale Project.  This can be easily illustrated by looking at the price of the motel we stayed in during our night in Beeville. The small independent roadside motel that would normally rent for $50-60 per night is suddenly renting for $140-160 per night, if you can even get a room.

Because of Eagle Ford, construction is booming, businesses are doing well and people are prosperous. Isn't it amazing that if you can keep government out of the way, we really can rebuild the economy on our own?

The second issue is very much about politics and representative government. Because of the shape of Congressional Districts in South Texas (very thin vertical districts) and the fact that most of the population base of these districts is anchored in the southern end of the districts, people living in the northern part of the district are concerned that their next representative not follow the path of previous representatives and focus solely on the southern region.

After a successful Bee County Republican Roundup, former Bee County Republican Chairman Robert Bridge sat down with CD 34 Candidate Adela Garza to discuss these two issues.

Former Bee County GOP Chair Robert Bridge and CD 34 Candidate Adela Garza

You can tell a lot about what kind of representative a person will be by watching how they interact with voters. During the time I spent in this part of Texas I observed Garza to be the kind of person who enjoys connecting with people. She takes the time to talk to and listen to the needs of her future constituents. She will be an outstanding representative of the people of CD 34 and South Texas.

CD 34 Candidate Adela Garza talks with Eagle Ford Shale Oilfield Workers

Transcript from Selected Video Segment

Robert Bridge: In the recent past, Bee County, has experienced a tremendous influence of oil companies, workers, because of the Eagle Ford Shale area, which is North and part of Bee County, but is also part of the county to the North of us. As the next US Congress Representative from this area, what is your position on the new technique for what they refer to as the fracking.

Adela Garza: You know I don’t know enough about that, and it’s a big part of my district and I need to get more educated, but I know that it is good for the area, because we’re creating jobs, because the economy is rolling, because you see it in the people that are coming in, our hotels are full, so it has to do with the fracking. But if the MPA gets in the middle of it and starts again with the regulation we could lose that, and I think that the citizens speak out and it’s very important for me to have an advisory committee, nobody know what happens in your community better than community members. You know what’s happening in your ranch, in your city, in your water, in your new companies. No one knows better than you, and I think every representative, down to the city level, has an advisory committee that tells you the truth and you have to listen to them, because you represent that group of people and you represent that district.
Robert Bridge: Earlier today, we spoke with a couple of young men that are working on the oil field business here in the local area, what are your thoughts on number one the influence of people that are coming into area and number two how can we maintain that role of productivity from the oil fields.
Adela Garza: You know it’s amazing that the EPA is trying to kill that force and you see that here in your community. How it’s booming, how young men are graduating high school and going and taking jobs that pay well and I’m an applicant for education. A community college here could train all of these young men right out of high school or probably in their senior year, and they could go straight into the oil fields and work and what a wonderful opportunity to try and lift up the unemployment rate every day, by doing positive things for your community. As a community no one knows better than the community members what is needed. Education is very, very important, it doesn’t have to be a four year education, but I think that a community college comes into play and we can train, we can train a lot of these students.
Robert Bridge: You mentioned a lot of involvement in the community, a concern I personally have a long with a lot of individuals have here in the county is the lack of representation from our previous US Congress Representative. That individual I have personal involvement with and he refused to answer questions and would refuse to allow any interaction with residents of the count because of the huge population. There is disparity between the south part of the district and the north part of the district. What would be your commitment or your pledge to the residents of Bee County, or to the northern part Bee County that has not had any representation.
Adela Garza: If anyine understands the problem, its Cameron County, our representative was from Corpus and we felt he never came around, maybe for a parade when it was reelection time. I feel your pain, and in my case, I set out to do something about it. One year I decided that we had enough, and I went out and supported a new person that I knew nothing about. That was Congressmen Blake Farenthold, together the young man with lots of guts and I decided we were going to make him win. Everybody thought we were crazy, but we did our very, very best and he won. So I’m telling you, you can make the difference, you can affect who represents you, and if anybody understands how important it is to you, to us as representatives, to represent your whole district and I’ve seen that in congress from Blake Farenthold, that he represents the whole district. He doesn’t represent one group, once elected you don’t just represent Republicans or Democrats, but the Tea Party and everyone else who didn’t vote for you. It is so important that you represent your whole district, and I will give you my word that I will form committees that will help us, and you all have to call your representatives and state that we are all part of this district.

Transcript from Entire Video

Robert Bridge: Hi, my name is Robert Bridge I’m from Bee County Texas. The reason that I’m here is because I am a concerned citizen. I’m a retired police captain from the city of Corpus Christi, which is about an hours drive south of the City Beeville. I was born and raised in the City of Beeville, and I moved here to raise my family, and have done so. We are involved politically because we’re very concerned about our county and the direction that it is going. The question, the biggest question on the minds of many people, would be what makes you think that you would be the best candidate to represent this district? 

Adela Garza: I am from the district, I have lived in the district for 36 years, this is where I raised my kids, this is where I built my business, this is where I built my home. I have many supporters that have been a part of my family. Not lifelong, but a long time, when I first came they came into my life as my kids did. I’m concerned; I got in involved politically because I don’t like what we’re leaving for our kids. I taught my kids about faith, freedom, work ethic, and you model for your kids, and you teach them good work ethic, and you teach them to work hard, and play hard. It’s getting very, very difficult for them to play hard, but they are working very, very hard. 

Robert Bridge: As a self-employed rancher, I plan on living my lifelong dream in retirement of being a full time cowboy, after working in law enforcement for many years. But I’m concerned like many of my neighbors, of the attack on property rights, the attack on water rights, the attack on the family, the attack on small businesses, and I know that that’s a huge gambit to a various problem, but what makes you qualified to represent this district and these small business owners, what makes you think that you qualify to represent me, my fellow Bee Countians, that have small businesses. 

Adela Garza: You know you’re lucky, not everybody gets to do what they want to do after they retire, very few. People retire and then have to go back to work because they can’t afford to be retired anymore. I’m seeing that in my business, we use to employ 25-30 people, and we’re down to 3 because it has become so very difficult to run a business. Government regulation is tremendous, puts tremendous pressure in any business and when you’re talking about the rights of property owners, because I came to the district so long ago, I owned a lot of property and it affects my line, eminent domain, water rights, border security, it affects me personally, and it affects everybody that surrounds my family and my district. 

Robert Bridge: What do you mean by the government regulations? How is it affecting home business? 

Adela Garza: I can speak for my business and the pharmacy business, it goes down to what bottles you use, what labels you use, what medicines you use, how to counsel a patient, and then you have to give them three pages of pros and cons and contradictions and you know the patients aren’t going to read it and we’re using so much paper, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I mean sometimes it’s just as silly as that you have to change the book every year and you buy the new book to satisfy the new regulation and it is the same thing. So we need to put a stop to that. 

Robert Bridge: Changing topic for just a little bit. As a Hispanic, as a conservative Hispanic, I was the Bee County Republican Chair, one of the problems that I saw was the lack of representation from the Hispanic community within the Republican party, and one of my goals was to involve more Hispanics for them to know more about the Republican Party. If elected what could you do to enhance, to improve, to encourage, more Hispanics to understand more about the Republican conservative view? 

Adela Garza: We need to bring the Hispanics in, because we naturally are conservative, except for some reason we vote Democrat all the time. I think it goes back to our parents, I think it goes back to the region where we grew up, everyone is Democrat and you learn to be a Democrat and if you want to affect your election locally you go vote Democrat. It’s not about the parties, because for example, in my county there were no Republicans running. So we learn to be Democrats, and then we learn to be the more conservative Democrat. Now it’s a more exciting time, because as Hispanics we’re opening our eyes and becoming educated because finding that the parties are welcoming us, it’s not the case in every party, but for the most part we’re pushing ourselves and we’re making a difference. I am a conservative, I am pro-life, I am pro-business, our values are very conservative and when you talk to your Hispanic friends, you tell them that once you become Republican, and they know that nothing happened to you that you were Republican, you lost maybe a few friends that weren’t really close friends to you, they come around, and I have noticed that, my sister has become very conservative, my friends, my employees have become very conservative and they’re asking questions and they’re wanting to become part of this revolution, be conservative it’s not a bad word anymore. We as elders in our party, we need to welcome the younger generation of Hispanics, and tell them that they can make such a big difference. 

Robert Bridge: In the recent past, Bee County, has experienced a tremendous influence of oil companies, workers, because of the Eagle Ford Shale area, which is North and part of Bee County, but is also part of the county to the North of us. As the next US Congress Representative from this area, what is your position on the new technique for what they refer to as the fracking. 

Adela Garza: You know I don’t know enough about that, and it’s a big part of my district and I need to get more educated, but I know that it is good for the area, because we’re creating jobs, because the economy is rolling, because you see it in the people that are coming in, our hotels are full, so it has to do with the fracking. But if the MPA gets in the middle of it and starts again with the regulation we could lose that, and I think that the citizens speak out and it’s very important for me to have an advisory committee, nobody know what happens in your community better than community members. You know what’s happening in your ranch, in your city, in your water, in your new companies. No one knows better than you, and I think every representative, down to the city level, has an advisory committee that tells you the truth and you have to listen to them, because you represent that group of people and you represent that district. 

Robert Bridge: Earlier today, we spoke with a couple of young men that are working on the oil field business here in the local area, what are your thoughts on number one the influence of people that are coming into area and number two how can we maintain that role of productivity from the oil fields. 

Adela Garza: You know it’s amazing that the EPA is trying to kill that force and you see that here in your community. How it’s booming, how young men are graduating high school and going and taking jobs that pay well and I’m an applicant for education. A community college here could train all of these young men right out of high school or probably in their senior year, and they could go straight into the oil fields and work and what a wonderful opportunity to try and lift up the unemployment rate every day, by doing positive things for your community. As a community no one knows better than the community members what is needed. Education is very, very important, it doesn’t have to be a four year education, but I think that a community college comes into play and we can train, we can train a lot of these students. 

Robert Bridge: You mentioned a lot of involvement in the community, a concern I personally have a long with a lot of individuals have here in the county is the lack of representation from our previous US Congress Representative. That individual I have personal involvement with and he refused to answer questions and would refuse to allow any interaction with residents of the count because of the huge population. There is disparity between the south part of the district and the north part of the district. What would be your commitment or your pledge to the residents of Bee County, or to the northern part Bee County that has not had any representation. 

Adela Garza: If anyine understands the problem, its Cameron County, our representative was from Corpus and we felt he never came around, maybe for a parade when it was reelection time. I feel your pain, and in my case, I set out to do something about it. One year I decided that we had enough, and I went out and supported a new person that I knew nothing about. That was Congressmen Blake Farenthold, together the young man with lots of guts and I decided we were going to make him win. Everybody thought we were crazy, but we did our very, very best and he won. So I’m telling you, you can make the difference, you can affect who represents you, and if anybody understands how important it is to you, to us as representatives, to represent your whole district and I’ve seen that in congress from Blake Farenthold, that he represents the whole district. He doesn’t represent one group, once elected you don’t just represent Republicans or Democrats, but the Tea Party and everyone else who didn’t vote for you. It is so important that you represent your whole district, and I will give you my word that I will form committees that will help us, and you all have to call your representatives and state that we are all part of this district. 

Robert Bridge: I wish you good luck in your upcoming primary election and I hope you are successful. 

Adela Garza: Thank you very much, and thank you for everything you are doing in your community. 

 

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